source: | 2000 Games, Devotions, Themes, Ideas and more for Youth Work
only for private using

Christianity in everyday life


What do nutella and bread have to do with Jesus?

I have bought some bread with nutella with me this evening. I spread it lovingly before I left the house. Bread with nutella is a fine thing. It tastes good and there are plenty of vitamins and cereals in it and it fills you up – at least for a little while. We could, of course, debate about which chocolate spread is the best. Nutella or Nutoka or Nusspli or any other for that matter. This is actually a very important question but it should not interest us this evening.

The question, which I have asked myself, is as follows: I have read a passage in the bible where Jesus says: „I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry.“ John 6, 35

What does Jesus have to do with a piece of bread? Or maybe even with a piece of bread and nutella? The bread of life. That somehow sounds a lot different to „Nutella bread“ or „Sandwich bread“. The bread of life– Life’s bread. There seems to be a lot more behind this. I have thought about which sections of the bible occur to me where bread is mentioned which might be able to help me further. I found something. This is a verse which you bound to have heard before. It is (Matthew 26, 26-28): „While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take and eat; this is my body." Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.“

That is what Jesus said to his disciples during the last supper on the evening before his crucifixion; the crucifixion of Jesus and the forgiving of our sins. Then my brain went „click“! I suddenly understood what the connection with the bread of life was.

Let’s go back to our Nutella bread. Nutella has a lot of calories – bread too.

When we eat bread, we are quickly filled up and the hunger is dampened for a while. Nutella bread dampens hunger. Jesus says: „I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry.“ Therefore if I were hungry, I would eat some tasty nutella bread (for example). What type of hunger do I need to eat a „tasty“ piece of life’s bread? That is the hunger for forgiveness, that is the hunger for the real truth, that is the hunger for life which only Jesus can give us. Jesus is the bread of life. Jesus can get rid of our hunger.

Jesus forgives our sins. If we accept this and let Jesus into our lives then that what was in between Jesus and us is simply gone. A short example: I once lied to a girlfriend and was not truthful to her. This was OK for me at first. That was the simplest way for me but after a few weeks I realised that I was really in the wrong. It really got to me. I felt this hunger for forgiveness and the hunger for freedom. It was not easy for me to admit what I had done and to seek forgiveness, but afterwards, I was free again.

Jesus died on the cross for us. If we accept Jesus, our hunger for forgiveness and our hunger for life is satisfied. Jesus gives us freedom from our guilt and from things which keep us imprisoned and do not let us go, things which want control over our lives. The bible verse which we mentioned before, it said: „The connection is set into strength which God agrees on with us humans.“ God makes a pact with us, or rather: God makes peace with us humans. Now I have asked myself if that is all. I mean: I ate my bread with nutella this morning but I am hungry again. What now? „I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry.“ What? Will not be hungry? How is that supposed to happen?

Everything starts when we come to Jesus. When Jesus comes into our lives he does not simply pop by to forgive our sins – he wants to stay. This is no five minute short visit but a permanent stay, and that is good. This is why Jesus can dampen our hunger – because he stays in our life. A piece of bread with Nutella is quickly digested and the nutrients are quickly used up – but not Jesus. Jesus stays in our life. He gives the power to live and the power to believe. In the bible, it even states that on the day that Jesus comes into your life, a new life begins. In other words; a new era. „He who comes to me will not go hungry.“ Not a single day, not a single hour.

So far, so good. However I do not believe that it is so simple. What does that mean now? That sounded really good but now I don't seem to have really understood. It can often happen that the hunger attacks come in between, especially in every day life. School and other things which you have to do, arguments with others and stress. Everything is so tiring and we notice how our energy decreases more and more.

We notice that our energy levels are not sufficient and that we actually need the next piece of bread and nutella, or in this case, that the next piece of life’s bread is required. „He who comes to me will not go hungry.“ Jesus does not leave us out in the cold. He said that he dampens our hunger and that the satisfaction is lasting, but how? There is the first point: We are allowed to trust in the fact that Jesus is in our lives.

Jesus is there. We are allowed to trust in the fact that we are not alone, never truly alone and that he gives us power. We can quickly lose sight of this and it is actually the best basis which we can stand upon.

And here is the second point: Jesus talks to us, through the bible for example. We sometimes think – even as a Christian – that the bible is more of a story book with more and less interesting stories with more or less interesting people. Lots of people have experienced super things. Nice – but what does that have to do with me? The bible is much more that that. The bible is the word of God. We are allowed to read about what people have experienced with God. We are allowed to read what Jesus said. Jesus did not only tell things to the people in those days, but still tells us things today. When we read the bible, we can learn what God’s plans are for us and what his gifts for us are. Those are only a few words about what Jesus has prepared for us. „I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will not go hungry.“

We can take 10 or 15 minutes of our time every day to read the bible, the best time is in the morning. Then we will learn that Jesus will give us power for the day.

I take a little time each day in the morning to read the bible. Sometimes I read for 10 or 15 minutes, sometimes a little longer. This is the time when I can experience tranquillity and receive encouragement for everything which is to come, when I can take the strength I need for the day. Sometimes this can be a challenge because not everything which is in the bible is always easy.

I also do something else in these 15 minutes – I pray. That is the third point: We are allowed to talk with Jesus. We are allowed to tell him everything that oppresses us, everything that worries us and everything else. We are allowed to tale with the lord of the world about everything. We are allowed to talk to Jesus about everything. We can talk about our most secretive secrets and about things which we would not discuss with anyone else. Everything. And Jesus does not simply listen to everything, he acts as well. He stands beside us and helps us. He takes our worries seriously. „I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will not go hungry.“ We can maintain the connection to Jesus through prayer.

And then I have a fourth point: We do not have to walk alone in life. Jesus once said (Matthew 18, 20): „For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." Community. We are allowed to be Christians together. We are allowed to come to Jesus together. We are allowed to walk through life together. When we meet up with each other in Jesus‘ name, then he is in the middle of us all.

Everything is easier in a team, that is probably obvious to everyone. This is why this is a massive opportunity: Community. One possibility for community is when we meet up in our group. We can read the bible together and pray together. „I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will not go hungry.“ Jesus has prepared enough for all of us. Enough of the bread of life and enough nutella and bread. Maybe you have already noticed: Our service actually had the title „Christianity in everyday life“. Now you should really ask yourselves: What does everything I have said actually have to do with Christianity in everyday life? The answer is simple: Everything is Christianity in daily life. Peace with God – through Jesus. Listening to God’s word and talking with God. Community. Everything is relevant to Christianity in daily life. But not quite.

In „ProChrist“ there was an example how we can remember this. It was called: A handful of life. You have probably already noticed the link: The bread of life – A handful of life. So: Peace with God – Listening to God’s word – Talking to God – Community. Only the little finger is missing.

The little finger represents the practice. It deals with our life. Our faith also has an effect.

It has an effect on what we say, how we act, on simply everything. A life with Jesus has effects. This is represented by the little finger. There are very different effects: I suddenly realised that it is wrong to lie to others, that it is wrong to buy illegal videos and CDs and that it is wrong to hurt others.

There are even more effects: The little finger also stands for the missions, which God gives us and these can vary greatly. When we read the bible, we can find the missions: You should love your neighbours, for example, and lots more beside. Working here in the YMCA/YWCA can also be a mission from God. Telling others about God can be a mission from God. Helping your fellow classmates with their maths work can be a mission from God. God gives us the mission and the love which he gives us, to pass it on to others.

We can use God’s help to carry out all of these missions. That is also a part of everyday life as a Christian. A hand full of life. Peace with God – Listening to God’s word – Talking to God – Community – Faith has effects. A hand full of life.

I will eat my nutella and bread afterwards.

Author: This entry comes from Christopher M.

[ © | 2000 Games and Ideas for Youth Work ] - 2000 Games and Ideas for Youth Work
picture youthwork picture youthwork picture youthwork picture youthwork picture youthwork picture youthwork